BAMN. Two huge pieces of news right?! Things are about to change around here! Let me elaborate…
As you all know, I currently live just outside of Chichester, way down on the south coast. Those of you who have stuck with me for a while, will also know that for about 16 months or so I’ve had the fantastic opportunity to work for Vantage News – a Press photo agency (if you’re not sure, think paparazzi). I’ve had the most amazing time; from meeting inspiring people, to honing in my photo editing skills, to getting up close and personal as I photographed a couple of Festivals. I’ve got to say, my favourite moment has to be when I photographed Wildlife Festival in Brighton, and we sat with Disclosure eating grilled pineapple after their headlining set. Beyond surreal.
However amazing and educating it has been, I recently decided it was time for the next chapter. I always say we can’t get comfortable and just wait, or we won’t progress – we have to go and hunt for the next adventure. I won’t lie to you, it was a grey area for a while. I was originally planning a ‘career time out’ to go and waitress for Chichester Festival Theatre (if you’re looking for a waitressing job that actually pays good money, apply). My plan was to save good money, and only then would I move to London.
Just at the ideal time, a good friend of mine popped up and told me about the role available at Grazia magazine. (Thank you Emi!) From that point, everything just happened at once. I had an interview a few days later – which I honestly walked out of thinking that I’d ruined. I got an email 20 minutes later offering me the internship! I’m very very excited to say that on the 25th of April I’ll be Grazia UK’s new picture intern. AHHHH.
So, as you may have guessed, this means I’m moving back to London babaaaay! I moved out about 5 years ago but London has always had a place in my heart, and I cannot wait to be back. I honestly can’t decide what I’m more excited for: London or Graiza. The restaurants, the culture, the tube (seriously, you can miss it). My best friend actually being in the same city as me.
Obviously, the downside is that Russ isn’t able to move too. Due to a fantastic new job he has for Nuffield Health and Gym, we’ve decided it’s best he stays where he is. For now (positive attitudes only), we’re going to see each other at the weekend, and have two beautiful places to explore. I’m so excited to show him what London has to offer – if you’ve got any suggestions I’d love to hear them!
In terms of my blog – things are about to change around here. We’re going to squeeze every single ounce of culture out of that gorgeous city. We’re going to carry our cameras around proud, snapping at every corner. We’re going to take London by storm.
Are you with me?
As you all know from any previous rare posts mentioning her, my mother has not been a part of my life for almost 5 years now, and will never be again. I won’t deny that not having a ‘mother figure’ in my life has had its difficult moments, but as you also know about me – I like to look at things from a positive angle.
So instead of wallowing in the (un-needed) sympathy people seem to give to me whenever I mention it, here’s 5 amazingly wonderful lessons that losing a mother taught me.
5 things I’m grateful for every single day.
1. Leave things that make you unhappy in the past. – It takes a strong person to be cut throat if someone you love is making you unhappy, but trust me, you’ll thank yourself for it. Whether that’s a friend, a lover, or a family member. Just because they’re family does not mean you have to drag yourself down. Cut the dead weight lose.
2. Never argue with someone too stubborn or blind to accept the truth. – Sometimes in life people believe what they want to believe. No amount of pushing or explaining will get them to change their mind. Trying to change this will take over your life and exhaust you. Accept it and then, if necessary, reconsider what that means for your relationship.
3. Being independent is the greatest thing in the world. – I grew up with a huge family around me, and at 16 that suddenly dropped to about 30% of the original clan for one reason or another. Again, it has its dark moments, but in a positive light it gives me so much freedom. I probably wouldn’t have even left home for uni if my mum had a say – think I’d be making my own way and own mistakes if she was a phone call away? Nope. (Also, props to my Dad for never getting in the way of this)
4. Having a chip on your shoulder is always a good thing. – Got something to prove? Got some haters to shout down? Good. Go get ’em. Be careful not to get too sucked up in it, you don’t want it to take over your decisions, but a little extra added motivation never hurt anyone.
5. Life will not give you what you deserve. – ‘Bad things happen to good people’, okay? You could be the kindest generous person around, and life will still hit you in the face with a brick. It’s gonna happen. There’s no point crying about it, no one cares, get up. Carry on. Hustle hard. Go. Kick. Ass.
A lot of silent disapprovals wonder why I bring up my past. But what happened is a part of me, a part of my character, and a part of my future. I will never hide who I am. I’ll keep telling my story to the new people in my life, because unless you know you’ll never really understand who I am and where my strength comes from.
Avert your sympathetic eyes – no sympathy is needed here!
The blessings that you need to count, are the ones hidden in the darkest shadows and deepest pain
Positive strong vibes only.
I’ve took a little break, as you may have noticed – as I scooted off to New York City with Russ!
It was an early 21st present from my parents, and we booked it over Valentine’s Day (our third one) and gorgeous NY Fashion Week.
We obviously got back a while ago – but I couldn’t blog about anything else before filling you in on the trip. And how can I fill you in before the photos were edited?!
So now TA DAH, they’re done.
Here’s a sneak peak, and very very soon I’ll be telling you every single last detail!
Happy New Year everyone! I hope you all had the most sassy sparkly kick ass Christmas break! I would apologise for my recent silence but I’ve been living it up, drunk as a skunk every night surrounded by my loved ones, so #sorrynotsorry.
New Year has rolled around again, and in prep for 2016 I’m seeing everyone rolling out their ‘new me’ plans left right and centre – which is fabulous, of course. If you’re using this fresh start to kick some butt and tick off your to do list, well that’s amazing for you! Snaps! However if you’re a little more like me (I’ve started the squat challenge 7 times and my record is day 6 for goodness sake), then I’ve put together a little more achievable New Year’s Resolution list. See below.
(Before you start, I want you to know that I expect you to read this in your best Bridget Jones voice. That’s what we’re going for right now.)
1) Perfect the winged eyeliner look.
2) Invest in a fab contour set – that £3/4 one from Collection isn’t cutting it these days, okay?
3) Whilst you’re at it, try and find a concealer that ACTUALLY DOES SOMETHING
4) Only watch 1-2 hours of TV a day. (That includes having it on in the background whilst you’re getting ready for work.)
5) Failing this, because we all know you will – only have 1 Netflix binge session per week.
6) Find a super cute way to reuse all those random basically-empty candle jars you have all over the house.
7) Instead of forcing yourself to read ‘clever books’, just read whatever you fancy – then you might actually read
8) Following on, read for half hour every day. Get soaked up in that book. Fall in love with Mr Darcy all over again. Cry when it’s over.
9) Buy yourself that Starbucks Chai Latte you’re dying for, you work hard okay! (Maybe take that book with you?!)
10) Even on your worst dying-in-bed days, always always always get out of the house.
11) Take at least one bath a week – not gross, I do shower, I just never ‘have time’/make time for baths!
12) Set up a direct debit for all your bills, and leave enough in your account to cover them. They’ll sort themselves out. Done.
13) Also, sort out your online banking. You’re an adult now. And adults need online banking. Period.
14) Actually be on time for work. Those 1/2 minutes everyday might be adding up for your boss.
15) Actually leave on time from work. Those extra 20 minutes/half hour/hour/two hours definitely isn’t adding up for your boss.
16) Whilst you’re at it – take your full goddamn lunch break. They don’t pay you for that either!
17) Drink a zillion glasses of water a day. (Plus one before you drunkenly pass out. Trust me.)
18) Spend one hour a day having ‘me time’. Because you’re worth it.
19) Being healthy is fab, but don’t go mad okay? You can balance out whatever you eat. You ate crap today? GIMME 50 SIT UPS.
20) Buy the stuff you’ve had on your list for about two years – like that leather jacket, GOOD black tights, and find a cute black skater skirt because your one is shite.
21) Wear your new stuff with pride and realise that you’re hot ASF every single day.
22) Take time to speak to your friends and catch up – or read through that group chat you’ve been too manic to read today.
23) Take your make up off/moisturise your face every night. Even when you’re too drunk to see straight. Especially then.
24) Also, brush your teeth every night. – again, not gross, I obviously do, but it’s the last thing I think of when I’m crawling in at 5 am.
25) Remember how Christmas always makes you skint? Put £10 away each month – you’ll have £120 by next year. You can thank me later.
26) Actually cook some of those 3298723476238 recipes pinned on your pinterest board.
27) Get a hair grips/hairband pot.
28) Drastically change your boring hairstyle – stop being a little bitch about it because IT WILL GROW BACK.
29) Find your ‘sass song’ that helps you find your sass even on the worst days. *Cue Beyonce*
30) Do not wallow in problems, but constructively plan a kick ass strategy to beat them.
31) Learn that when stressed, scrolling aimlessly through Facebook/Twitter will not help. In fact, just stop doing that altogether.
32) Oh and stop stalking your ex’s/boyfriend’s ex’s/people you hate on social media. Yeah, even you sitting there like ‘lol I don’t do that’ – who are you trying to kid?
33) Try to stop thinking bad things about people. Really really really try. If they’re really that awful, then just don’t say it. There’s enough negativity in the world.
34) Forgive people. That ex who cheated on you 5 years ago and no one really cares any more but you’ve brutally held on to that since – just let it go. We’re over it.
35) Squat until you can’t walk up the stairs. (I do mine while brushing my teeth!)
36) Plan meals for the week, preferably before your weekly shop – oh, and make tomorrow’s packed lunch the night before.
37) Buy those shoes. (Last year, there were these adorable perfect black platform ankle boots in New Look, and I thought I’d be sensible and wait until pay day. They sold out. Haunted me ever since.) BUY THE SHOES.
38) Stop cheaping out on underwear, because they’ll last longer, make you feel sassy and continue to be your secret weapon.
39) Stop wearing that god awful tiny black lace thong because he might love it but it uncomfortably eats up your ass all day. Put yourself first.
40) Actually learn to put yourself first in all aspects of life. I am the WORST for putting other people’s happiness first. 2016 – the year I say f*ck you I don’t want to.
41) Formulate a plan to get those abs showing like you’ve been wanting to for three years. Speak to that personal trainer friend of yours, or the one who’s lost loads of weight and looks fabulous. Stop saying ‘tomorrow’.
42) Buy a potted plant and actually keep it alive. Apparently good for mental health?
43) Travel. Whether that’s a distant town or around the world. I don’t care, just go see some stuff you haven’t seen before.
44) Stop caring about how many likes you get on IG/FB.
45) P O S I T I V E E N E R G Y. Don’t sit there and complain to me that you’re bored because you’re sitting on your ass all day. You wont get sympathy – I really really really don’t care.
46) Walk up to him at a bar, text him first, say hey on tinder – take control of your love life. Why are you waiting for him girl?
47) Also take control of your friendship-life – cut out the freeloaders and the good-time friends ASAP. And stop being guilted into seeing that one friend from three years ago who still thinks you’re insanely close but you really cba.
48) No drama. Or as little as humanly possible. We do not do drama.
49) Kick ass. All day errrrrday.
50) Stay Sassy.
Love you xxxx
(PS. Maybe 51 can be reading Courage Is Not An Option alllllll the time? *wink*)
When I get home from work, I quite often try and convince myself to take a break. Take an hour or two and just simply indulge in doing nothing; soak in a bubble bath with a glass of wine, or get completely lost in a classic novel, or if I’m feeling really lazy I might even binge watch a new season.
However, every time, every single time, I end up stressing about the photos I haven’t edited, or the washing up on the side, or emails I haven’t replied to etccccc. Like right now. I’m being super lazy and cuddling the kittens whilst I start the first season of Pretty Little Liars. (I haven’t seen it before, I’ve avoided all spoilers, don’t say a word.) Instead of basking in the works of doing nothing, and taking a much needed well deserved break, here I am – blogging. I love my blog, I love my readers and my supporters, and I don’t begrudge the time I spend working on it, but it definitely adds to my to do list. I’m sure my fellow bloggers feel my pain, it really is a never ending list of duties. Blogging is not for the faint hearted, you have to have passion for it or it’ll become too much.
Photography isn’t for the weak either. Every moment I spend taking time for myself is a guilt ridden thought process – ‘this means it’s longer till my clients get their photos’. Especially with some longgggg hospital trips over the past few months, it means I’m quite far behind on editing so every single moment from home time to bed time is used on playing catch up. Plans at the weekend? Haha nope, you’ll always find me curled up under my blanket clicking away. Luckily for me, I love the feeling I get when I finish a set, I love the gratefulness and love from my clients – some of whom have become good friends. But that doesn’t mean that the endlessness of tasks doesn’t take its toll.
This weekend, I promise myself that I will take at least 2 hours of ‘me’ time. And I invite you all to do the same. Do something specifically for yourself, don’t worry about all the crazy things on that list. You don’t have to screw up that list, just place it on the side…with a book on top of it…perhaps like a whole crate of books. Ignore it.
For those of your familiar with Juila Roberts’ Eat Pray Love, you’ll recognise this phrase. I’m sure they romanticised the Italian culture for the film but this alone is enough to explain my love for Italy. Dolce Far Niente means ‘the sweetness of doing nothing’. Take that in your stride.
In the deep dark moments of our lives, we all experience fear. Whether those fears come after blubbering through The Fault In Our Stars (yes that was my very ill Saturday night) or after spending a month in and out of hospital trying to saviour some health; those fears will come. It’s my belief that it takes courage to express those fears, and share them with those who love us. Opening up to people is something that has never come easily or naturally to me. To me, that on its own is one of my biggest fears. Showing someone my darkest emotions and having them judge me, or even stand against me and shout out my wrong doings.
However, it’s also my belief that those who love us must be trusted with these dark woes. How can they love you for who you are without knowing where your mind goes to in those silent moments? How can they support you or help you grow, if they don’t know where you come from?
Like others who’ve had darkness in their past, I have a fear. A fear that goes straight to the top of the list. A fear that beats Alzheimer’s or a house fire. A fear that surpasses losing childhood photos or gender inequality. My fear is being left. People who I love, who I’ve trusted, people who know these deep secrets, leaving me. At this point in my life, I’ve experienced enough of this particular fear coming true, and each time it never gets any easier to handle.
I bare my soul tonight to remind others that having fear is normal, but it mustn’t stop us from loving freely and continuing to make the most of our short time on earth.
What would you accomplish today if you had no fear?
It’s September, which as you know from my previous post, means Russell and I are going to test ourselves by giving up meat. Yup, we’re going Veggie. *Insert face of desperation/excitement here*
I like my chicken. I mean really really really like my chicken. And bacon and American pancakes. And slow roasted tender lamb. And a soft juicy sausage casserole with lots of vegetables and dumplings made in my slow cooker. And a too-big-to-fit-in-my-mouth burger with Sweet Potato fries.
And Russ? He’s probably worse than me.
So giving up meat is a. huge. deal. (erm yes, even if it is for only a month)
The reason we’re beginning this month long adventure(/struggle), is due to a poorly me and hours of Netflix last weekend. Instead of watching re runs of Gossip Girl and pawning over Chuck Bass but flushing my brain cells away, I decided to get into food documentaries. As much as part of me wishes I’d stayed blissfully ignorant, as I’d be chowing down on a chicken and chorizo bagel for lunch right now, honestly what I learnt was beyond astonishing. Did you know that Sugar is more addictive than Cocaine?!?!
Next time you’re in a binge watch mood, check out Fed Up, Fat Sick and Nearly Dead, Hungry For Change – and one I’m sure you’ve heard of, Supersize Me. Each and every single one offers a fresh perspective, a fresh journey. From eating McDonalds three times a day, every day for a month, to doing a 90 day juice cleanse to lose 100 pounds and save his life – these documentaries take it to the extreme, to show you what you’re doing to your body. The phrase ‘you are what you eat’ has NEVER rang more true to me.
I’ve never considered myself a particularly unhealthy person. I exercise regularly, I don’t go on crazy damaging diets, I don’t like eating your every day standard ‘crap’. I’ll chose fresh mango over walkers crisps, a bowl of salad over chips, or a glass of apple and raspberry juice over Dr Pepper. I hate, hate hate hate hate hate, chocolate. So I realise from the offset that I have an advantage over people (like Russ) who could happily stuff their faces with crisps or sweets every day.
However, what I didn’t realise is the harm that 2 spoons of sugar in 2/3 cups of tea a day would cause. That putting that same harmful substance over my Weetabix is killing me. Or that a glass or five of Pimms at the weekend is much worse than the guilty salt shake over my potato wedges. (That last one is in reference to the sugar intake, not the obvious poison aka alcohol).
Going Veggie for a month is just trying to increase the amount of fresh food we eat. It means hopefully afterwards, not walking into Tesco and saying ‘So chicken Monday, beef Tuesday, want chicken again Wednesday?…’. I’m hoping it’ll make our recipes more diverse and force us to think about what we’re eating.
Naturally we’re new to this, we’re conscious of how many nutrients we may miss out on if we’re not careful. I have quite low iron in my blood already, so not eating red meat will have to be replaced with other sources of iron. You don’t quite realise what a big deal it is, until you’ve finally done it.
Yesterday afternoon we planned out our recipes for the next week, and did our first Veggie shop. Over the next month I’m going to be keeping you regularly updated, I’m gonna give you step by step yummy veggie recipes over on Food For Thought, and I may even have a couple of video diaries heading your way….
If you’ve got some scrummy ideas or tips, comment below or get in touch on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram! Honestly any thoughts are welcome, we’d love to hear your ideas!
Can’t wait to share this adventure with you, and you’ll finally get to meet Russell!
Those of you who follow me on my Facebook page (click like at the side) will know that not too long ago, I reached my one year milestone!
When I started this blog, I was going through a bit of a rough time. I was living the student poor life, I wasn’t enjoying uni, working at a bad job, and I’d dated two people in quick succession who probably weren’t the best choices for me. I remember it was the middle of summer, if England really has a summer, and I had the flu or a stomach bug, I was lying in bed feeling miserable and really sorry for myself. So I decided, instead of watching endless episodes of Gossip Girl and Sex and The City, I’d put all this spare time to use and do something productive. For those that know me personally, you’ll know that I normally have a little project going on, but I generally stick it out for maybe three months max. One year on, and we’re still here.
And more to the point, you’re all here with me. And I love you for it, endlessly. Every single person who clicks on my link in their newsfeed, leaves me a comment or shares with their friends and family – I want you to know that I could not be more grateful.
Over the past year you’ve read my stories and thoughts, offered encouragement and support or counter arguments and words of wisdom. You’ve watched me grow from a child struggling through eduction, into a (hopefully) young woman who’s strong and makes her own decisions. I’ve gone from trying to battle down a career path I’d lost interest in, to starting my own wedding photography company and working for a leading photo agency in the press. I know I still have so much to fill you in about, and I promise I will very very very soon, but I just wanted to spread some love and appreciation to you guys.
I know I’ve been a bit disorganised, and I haven’t blogged as much as I’d hoped to, but I’m a firm believer in living life whenever it chucks stuff at you. I’d love to sit here and outline some firm ‘next year goals’ (and I probably need to to be honest) but at the moment my life is too crazily busy and unpredictable to really make any promises that I know I could keep. However, I would like to start blogging twice a week. So from now on, you’ll have a new post on a Wednesday and a Sunday. They might end up being a day or two late, but I promise to try as much as I can. Having a demanding full time job, a part time job, a photography company and a blog means I’m normally running around like a headless chicken, so bare with! Eventually I’d like to step it up to three a week, but let’s start at two!
I’ve also got a little project coming up across September – Russell and I are gonna go Veggie for a month! We’re doing it because the first thing we do when we go for a weekly shop is say ‘okay we need one type of meat for every day of the week’ – and we’re ready to branch out! October will bring my sober month for Macmillan, and 10 days of a juicing cleanse with Ginge. Keep an eye on my Food for Thought page to see what we’ve got coming up!
I’m so excited to share this next year’s achievements with you, and thank you so so so much for sticking with me.
I love you, make sure you remember that.
1. Who puts a wet spoon in the sugar jar. (Especially if that spoon has coffee stuck to it). It’s just wrong?
2. Who will happily eat a Brussels Sprout. Anyone in their right mind knows that any roast dinner, especially that yummy Christmas roast, is completely ruined if one of those vile things has crawled on to your plate.
3. Who puts the new toilet roll on top of the empty roll – STOP THAT.
4. Doesn’t think David Beckham is basically a God; whatever gender/sexuality you are, he’s still fit.
5. Who forwards chain emails/shares those ridiculous ‘if you don’t share then the creepy clown will come and find you at 2am’ on Facebook. Literally this will have no effect on your life, learn this righhhhhhhht now.
6. Who is a morning person. For real though, if you like getting up at 6am to go for a run and do the washing up and iron all your clothes and make packed lunches etc etc etc, you can leave. You have no place in my life.
7. In the same sense, don’t trust someone who doesn’t snooze their alarm at least three times. If he/she jumps straight out of bed on the first one, they gotta go.
8. Who doesn’t tip in a restaurant. (Unless it was awful service). I find the tipping tradition a little odd, but it’s deemed as socially polite so if they don’t tip, be sure to dodge their call next time.
9. Anyone who wears a watch on the inside of their wrist. I can’t even….tragic.
10. Who has a small knot in their tie. Unless someone has just peanut-ed you, see yourself out.
11. Coming back to making hot drinks – someone who puts the milk in a tea before the water. What on earth are you doing?
12. Someone who can’t relate to AT LEAST one Beyonce song (but seriously you should be able to relate to a whole lot more?!)
12.a. Someone who hasn’t had a Beyonce song as their anthem at at least one point in their life. Single Ladies? Bootylicious? Survivor?! Indépendant Woman?!?!? (Probably more applies to girls, so lads sit back down)
13. Someone who doesn’t know at least the very basic choreography to Single Ladies. (Lads, this includes you too.) *IF YOU LIKE IT THEN YOU SHOULDA PUT A RING ON ITTTT*
14. Anyone who hasn’t been to Oceana and secretly loved it. We know you’re super hipster and it’s wayyyyyy to mainstream for you, and probably full of drunk underage kids, but it was one of the best nights of your life, right?
15. Someone who wears any kinds of flip flops/sandals/loafers/dolly shoes/etc with socks on. Oh my god.
16. If they can’t sing along to the Frozen soundtrack with you, you don’t need that kind of negativity in your life.
17. You can include anyone who doesn’t appreciate Disney movies too. What even are you?!
18. Someone who didn’t go through that slightly chavvy stage in their early teens. You know exactly what I’m talking about – it’s a right of passage.
19. Who doesn’t fancy either a fry up or a Maccies breakfast after a heavy night – we both know you couldn’t care less about the calories, embrace it!
Have I missed anything? Let me know below!